For 26-year-old Ben Watson from Nottingham in England, racing the Beta RX450 in the 2024 season has started as he probably expected. Holding down 12th place in the MXGP championship standings, with 37 points, he is just 12 points off the top ten, and while his 10-12 from the opening round in Argentina is more than likely where he will finish on most occasions, he knows that there is more to achieve as the season rolls on.

The first World Championship race of the season got me a little confused,” Watson mentioned. “I was feeling good on Saturday. In qualifying I was riding a bit tight, but that's normal at this time of the season. I finished 11th, ensuring a good start at the gate for the Sunday races. In the first race, I felt really good, my speed was good, and I finished 10th. In the second one I didn't get off to a great start but in the first two laps I made up several positions. Unfortunately, in an attempt to move up to 7th position I forced the entry into the corner and slipped on the ground, getting back on the saddle I lost a few laps to get back on the pace, but I climbed back up to 12th position. The feeling on the bike is good and I was confident about the results we could get in Spain.”

A couple of weeks after the opening round in Argentina, round two in Spain went slightly worse, with 12-13 scores from the two races on the Sunday. Watson just wasn’t feeling it in round two and starts were a major part of his problem. As anyone knows, a bad start in the MXGP class usually means holding your place and not making a lot of progress forward and that was that happened for the British rider in Spain.

“I have to admit that it was a tough race for me. In general, I didn't have a good feeling throughout the weekend, especially when I tried to increase my speed. In qualifying it went better, so I managed to secure a good position at the gate. During the Sunday, I struggled to find a rhythm that would allow me to be fast enough. Unfortunately, at the moment I can't hit the starts and together with the team we will have to work a lot to improve. When you start behind then it is really very difficult to catch up. I am confident for the next race in Sardinia because I have always been fast on the sand.”

Now onto Riola in Sardinia, where Watson finished 12th overall in 2023 with 14-13 finishes and in 2022 17-18 results. Nothing to write home about, but the continued push for better results will come and you just know that Watson is giving it all he has, in very tough conditions and a class that is stacked with factory machines and elite riders.

Photo Credit : FullSpectrum

Geoff Meyer



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